LITTLE ROCK — 2020 in-state hooper Zane Butler had a big time Saturday while on his unofficial visit to Arkansas.
“I’m in the stadium right now,” said Butler, who after meeting with Hoop Hog coaches Saturday morning attended the football Razorbacks’ season-opener against Portland State at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. “It’s going great man!”
Butler (6-0 point guard, Greene County Tech) is being recruited by the Razorbacks as a preferred walk-on. He arrived for his visit arond 9 a.m. on Saturday.
“I love it down here!” said Butler, whose parents and other family members accompanied him on his visit. “Great city, atmosphere, and people … Coaches made me feel very welcomed. All have great history and experience, that can help improve the games of players such as myself.
“Really enjoyed talking to them about all of their NBA and college experience. They obviously have tons of knowledge from every level of basketball.”
Butler also took to Twitter on Saturday to talk about his visit.
“Had a great visit today at the University of Arkansas,” he said. “I really appreciate the coaches taking the time to meet with us & show us the facilities & campus. I look forward to this (high school) season & having another chance to show I’m an impact player. I look forward to coming back, soon.”
Butler’s family was in touch with Arkansas assistant coach Clay Moser on Tuesday evening when the Hogs set up the unofficial visit.
“I’m very appreciative of the interest and the chance to go visit,” Butler said Tuesday night. “I want to continue to work hard, continue to improve my game, and be the best player I can. I want to go where it’s the best fit for me, a place where I can play but also show that I can play at a big-time school.”
One of the top players in the loaded 5A-East conference, Butler emerged after his junior season with a strong spring and summer while raising his recruiting profile as an NCAA Division 1 prospect.
In May, Butler received his first D1 offer from Mississippi Valley State. He’s also drawn significant interest from D1 programs South Alabama, Southern Illinois, and Maryland-Baltimore County. He’s taken unofficial visits to South Alabama and Southern Illinois.
“I’ve grown a couple of inches, and I’ve gained weight since my junior season,” Butler said of the physical maturation that has helped his game along. “Quick first step, finishing, mid-range, deeper 3s. I’ve made my 3-point shot a full jump shot which has made me a lot better with how people guard me. Work ethic: Early in the morning and late at night, just staying in the gym.”
Jonesboro head coach Wes Swift faces Butler at least twice a year in that ultra-competitive 5A-East, and he’s a big fan of Butler’s game.
“I love Zane!” Swift said. “He’s always been able to catch and shoot. Now he can take you off the bounce and create for himself or a teammate. The thing not many realize is how good an on-ball defender he is! He can beat you on both ends of the floor!”
Linked below is a highlight reel of 2020 Zane Butler …